This weekend has seen some real confusion regarding the capabilities of the soon to launch next generation consoles. It seems as though several press embargoes have been broken regarding upcoming launch titles - specifically "Ryse: Son of Rome," "Call of Duty: Ghosts" and "Battlefield 4".
What's prompting this is a combination of leaked photos of retail box art for some of these games, plus at least one unofficial 'launch event' where new information emerged. All the talk is in regards to three things - the size of the games, what resolution they run at and what frame rate they run at.
The size issue is the least controversial, but it does confirm that those wanting to go "all digital" and do away with physical discs for this generation of games won't likely have that option - not unless they have a super fast and generous ISP.
Game retail art confirms that the PS4 version of "Call of Duty: Ghosts" requires a whopping 49Gb install size. It has also been confirmed the final digital file size of "Killzone: Shadow Fall" will be 39.7GB. Over on the Xbox One, "Ryse: Son of Rome" is 47Gb, while "Forza Motorsport 5" and "Dead Rising 3" are 35Gb each.
What's got everyone talking though is the graphic capabilities and what each machine is capable of. This current generation saw games running at 720p resolution (often upscaled), with a maximum frame rate varying from 30-60 frames per second (fps) depending upon the game.
It was hoped the next gen consoles would be able to consistently deliver native 1080p resolution and 60fps gaming from Day One across the board. That's not looking to be the case.
Of the two PS4 appears to be coming out the clear winner. Listings on Sony's network indicate "Call of Duty: Ghosts," "Battlefield 4" and "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" will all run natively at 1080p & 60fps. A Sony VP later confirmed that "Call of Duty" would definitely hit this benchmark.
Once that was confirmed, the obvious question was if XB1 would be able to match suit. A thread on Reddit claims that "Tons of reviewers/journalists are on Facebook/Twitter making hints at something very damaging. Microsoft isn't allowing any reviewers to make PS4 vs. Xbox One comparisons, nor are they handing out Xbone versions of games for reviews. Xbox One reviews are embargo'd until Noon on launch day."
Why would this be? It goes on to say: "From what I've read on Twitter, NeoGAF and other sources, basically, the console's ESRAM is this generation's Cell CPU. It makes games harder to develop for, which is resulting in a lot of multiplatform games being in lower resolutions, slower frame rates, and lower textures."
This has lead to speculation that the XB1 version of "Call of Duty" will run only at native 720p resolution. Microsoft reps haven't outright denied the claims as yet, only deflecting questions with generalisations. Furious Fanboys editor has further information confirming the news, and adds that Activision is currently working on a patch to fix the issue in time for release.
Some games, like the new "NBA 2K14" title, have already been confirmed to be 1080p and 60fps on both consoles. On the flip side, XB1 exclusive "Ryse: Son of Rome" has officially been set to run at 900p and 30fps. Microsoft has pointed out that it's game publishers, not the console manufacturers, who are the ones who make the decision on resolution and frame rates for each game.